Dual-task conditions are commonly experienced in daily routines. The aim of the present systematic review is to investigate the effect of dual-task conditions on gait and balance performance in children with cerebral palsy (CP) and to perform meta-analyses where applicable. Five databases, “ProQuest”, “PubMed”, “OTSeeker”, “Scopus”, and “PEDro” from the incipient date of databases up to Aug 24, 2020 were searched for studies focusing on the effects of dual-task conditions on gait and balance performance in children with CP. After removing irrelevant articles and applying inclusion and exclusion criteria, nine articles were included in the present systematic review and meta-analysis. The results of the meta-analysis showed that walking speed was slower during dual-task conditions compared to single-task conditions in children with CP (WMD = −0.29 m/s, 95% CI = −0.34, −0.24, P ≤ 0.001) and walking speed decreased in children with CP during dual-task conditions in comparison with the typical development (TD) control group (WMD = −0.19 m/s, 95% CI = −0.23 to −0.15, P ≤ 0.001). The results of subgroup analysis based on the type of task indicated that adding concurrent tasks to walking degrades walking speed under varied dual-task conditions. Additionally, theoretical synthesis of the literature demonstrated that other gait and balance variables are changed by performing cognitive and motor secondary tasks differently. Although these changes may be compensatory strategies to retain their stability, there was not sufficient evidence to reach a firm conclusion. Research gaps and recommendations for future studies are discussed.
- Cerebral palsy
- Dual tasks
- Postural balance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Complementary and Manual Therapy
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
- Complementary and alternative medicine